Content types

Nature Biomedical Engineering publishes original research in one format: Article. Review Articles are authoritative and balanced discussions of published research developments. Informed discussion of topical matters or of published findings and their prospects, and involving opinions and viewpoints, are published as Perspectives, Comments, and News & Views. Irrespective of the type of contribution, authors must provide a statement declaring whether or not they have any competing financial interests.

On this page: Article | Review Article | Perspective | Comment | News & Views | Correspondence

Article

An Article is a novel research study of outstanding significance. The main text (which excludes the Abstract, Methods, References and figure legends) typically contains 2,500–3,500 words. Articles can have up to 8 display items (figures and/or tables). As a guideline, up to 50 references (excluding those cited exclusively in Methods) are allowed. The maximum length of the title is 130 characters, including spaces. The Abstract is limited to 175 words and is unreferenced; it contains a brief account of the background and rationale of the work, followed by a statement of the main conclusions introduced by the phrase "Here, we show" or some equivalent. An introduction (without heading) of referenced text expands on the background of the work, and is followed by a concise, focused account of the findings and their analysis. The results and their discussion can be divided in two sections (under the headings 'Results' and 'Discussion'), or organized in several non-nested sections. Section titles should not exceed 60 characters, including spaces. An 'Outlook' section can be added at the end of the main text, which should be followed by the Methods, References, Acknowledgements and Author Contributions sections. The reference list should be ordered according to citations numbers first appearing in the main text, tables and figure captions, in this order.

Articles are peer-reviewed, include received / accepted dates, and may be accompanied by supplementary information.

Review Article

A Review Article is an authoritative, balanced survey of recent developments in a research field. Although Review Articles should be recognized as scholarly by specialists in the field, they should be written with a view to informing non-specialist readers. Hence, Review Articles should be presented using simple prose, avoiding excessive jargon and technical detail. Their scope should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single research institution or by the authors' own work.

Review Articles are 4,000–6,000 words long and include 6–8 display items (figures, tables or boxes). As a guideline, up to 150 references are allowed. Footnotes are not used. The maximum length of the title is 130 characters, including spaces. The Abstract is limited to 150 words and is unreferenced. The text should be organized in several sections, whose titles should not exceed 60 characters, including spaces. One-level subheadings can be included. An 'Outlook' section can be added at the end of the main text, which should be followed by the References and Acknowledgements sections. The reference list should be ordered according to citation numbers first appearing in the main text, tables, figure captions and boxes, in this order.

Review Articles are peer-reviewed and include received / accepted dates. They are typically commissioned and edited by the editors. Unsolicited contributions will be considered, but before preparing a manuscript for formal submission it is advisable to submit a synopsis of about 1,000 words with references and figures as a pre-submission enquiry.

Perspective

A Perspective discusses published findings and ideas from a personal viewpoint. Perspectives are more forward-looking and/or speculative than Review Articles, and may take a narrower field of view. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced.

Perspectives follow the same formatting guidelines as Reviews Articles. They are peer-reviewed and include received / accepted dates.

Perspectives are typically commissioned and edited by the editors. Unsolicited contributions will be considered, but before preparing a manuscript for formal submission it is advisable to submit a synopsis of about 1,000 words with references and figures as a pre-submission enquiry.

Comment

A Comment can focus on policy, societal or purely scientific issues of interest to the biomedical engineering community. Because Comments can involve a substantial amount of opinion, contributions with few authors are preferred. They should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and be written in an accessible, non-technical style. The inclusion of figures and photographs is encouraged.

Comments are typically no longer than 2,000 words, and can include up to four figures and 15 references. Titles of papers (but not of books) are omitted from the reference list. Comments may be peer-reviewed at the Editor's discretion.

Comments are typically commissioned and edited by the editors. Unsolicited contributions will be considered, but before preparing a manuscript for formal submission it is advisable to submit a synopsis of about 300 words as a pre-submission enquiry.

News & Views

A News & Views informs readers about latest advances of interest to the biomedical engineering community, as reported in papers recently published in Nature Biomedical Engineering or elsewhere, or at scientific meetings. News & Views should be written in a manner readily accessible to non-specialists, and put the findings and/or discussion into a broader context. Personal viewpoints, criticisms and predictions are encouraged.

News & Views are typically no longer than 1,500 words, and include one or two figures and up to 15 references. Titles of papers (but not of books) are omitted from the reference list. News & Views are not peer-reviewed.

News & Views articles are typically commissioned and edited by the editors. Because they are typically published at the same time as the discussed article(s) or shortly thereafter, unsolicited contributions are rarely considered.

Correspondence

A Correspondence can comment on papers published in the journal, or discuss scientific issues relevant to a broad slice of the biomedical engineering community.

Correspondences are typically 250–500 words long, and can include one display item. As a guideline, up to 10 references are allowed. Titles of papers (but not of books) are omitted from the reference list. Titles for correspondences are supplied by the editors.

In cases where a correspondence is critical of a published research article, the authors of the criticized paper are given the opportunity to publish a brief reply. The criticism of opinions or other secondary matters does not involve an automatic right of reply. Critical comments should be sent to the authors of the criticized paper before submission to Nature Biomedical Engineering, so that disputes can be resolved directly whenever possible and points where both parties agree removed from the contribution. If after 2 weeks the criticized authors have not responded, this should be indicated at submission. Otherwise, if the contribution is submitted to Nature Biomedical Engineering, copies of the correspondence with the original authors should be enclosed for the editor's information.

Refutations of published articles are peer-reviewed. Other types of Correspondence may be peer-reviewed at the Editor's discretion.

For enquiries on content types for Nature Biomedical Engineering, please contact the Editor at nBME@nature.com. Exceptions to word-count limits and to the suggested maximum number of references can be granted by the Editor on a case-by-case basis.